Live with Regis and Kelly

Project Playground





What is Project Playground?

Live with Regis & Kelly will be airing from New Orleans May 22nd-25th! We can't wait to head south and enjoy all the amazing food, music and wonderful people of Louisiana. As a special gift, Live, along with Disney•ABC Domestic Television, are spearheading the construction of a play area for Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, a 600-student campus located in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.

Drew Elementary sustained significant flooding and damage from Hurricane Katrina, and as a result the students and staff were displaced for well over a year. The school has struggled to rebuild, finally re-opening their doors in October 2006. It was the first school in the hurricane impact zone to reopen, and remains the only open Elementary school in the Bywater area. But the school and the surrounding neighborhood is in dire need of one very important thing....a playground for the students and children. Currently, the only play space is a large area behind Drew Elementary with potholes, buckling asphalt and the remnants of what used to be a basketball court.

We decided a new playground was the perfect gift to leave behind once we pack up and head back to New York. With the help of community-build playground specialists Kaboom! and the students' very own ideas and inspiration, the "Live with Regis and Kelly Playground" has been officially unveiled on our show in New Orleans!





Project Playground Unveiled

We marked the successful completion of Project Playground on Wednesday May 23rd with the grand opening of the "Live with Regis and Kelly" playground at Drew Elementary. Crowds of enthusiastic volunteers, parents, and faculty members joined Drew's very excited students, along with special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration early Wednesday morning! The festivities included a performance by the Drew cheerleaders, a lovely rendition of the National Anthem, and moving dedication speeches from Janice Marinelli, President of Disney•ABC Domestic Television; Darrell Hammond, founder and CEO of KABOOM!; and Shawon Bernard, Assistant Principal Drew Elementary.

This joyous event would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work from all of our volunteers and sponsors on BUILD DAY, Monday, May 21st. Over 450 volunteers showed up, including 45 from Northrup Grumman, 35 from Sodexho, 125 from the community, 15 from GulfCoast Recovery Corps, 10 from Operation Nehemiah, 39 from past KABOOM! builds, 15 from WWL-TV, and scores of others who wanted to help! It took us six hours to build the playground, landscape the front of the school, build three picnic tables, 13 planter benches and three trough planters, build a Dino Dig sandbox, paint the lower exterior of the school along with murals designed by Drew's students, replace the basketball hoops/backboards and paint new lines, install the tetherball court, and scrape and repaint the school's storage shed. We mixed 360 bags of concrete by hand to make 28,800 pounds of cement, plus we moved 190 cubic yards of mulch! Regis and Kelly were also on hand to install the permanent signage, assemble and move the main structure with slides into place, build the Superdome, rake and move mulch, as well has paint murals with the students!

We'd like to personally thank everyone involved for your inspiration, dedication, and endless hours of hard work to make the Live with Regis and Kelly Playground a reality for over 600 deserving students at Drew Elementary and the Bywater community.



If you would like to get involved with the Regis and Kelly Playground Project at Drew Elementary School please contact Assistant Principal Shawon Bernard at:

Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School
3819 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-655-5989




A Very Special Thanks to:

Composite Acoustics donated 20 guitars to help Drew Elementary rebuild their music program. For more information please visit www.compositeacoustics.com.

Composite Acoustics
3403 Moss Street
Lafayette, LA
337-233-4119

Viking Range Corporation for donating refrigerators and microwave ovens to the 3 teachers lounges at Drew Elementary. For more information please visit www.vikingrange.com.